Tuesday, April 30, 2013

currently... back from the dead

I don't live to destroy, but I am back from the dead. Or what seemed like me being dead the last two weeks. So sorry that I have been MIA. I will do my best to not let that happen again! So what better post to do than a "currently" post to get you up to speed on the on goings around the Pelletier household..

Thinking about: too many things! I have some crazy exciting news regarding the business. I'm still in shock and awe about! I'll be sharing over the next week or so, just have a few small things to hash out before jinxing anything. I'm also coming up with deodorant recipes and my version of "tattoo goo". The "tattoo goo" is already a recipe I have already made and developed, the mister loves it- I'm just working on the packaging and labeling. So that should be out shortly. Also thinking about our gardens. We started working on them this past weekend. Nothing too exciting to share yet. But definitely some before and progress pictures will be taken over the next few weeks. It's raining and yucky out the last couple days, so that will wait til the sun comes back to join us.

Reading: Trying to get caught up on blogs from the past two weeks. I really was MIA from it all, so I'm slowly reading back blog posts. I'm sure I've missed a lot of what's been happening. If you had something super awesome going on you want me to know about please share!

Listening to: complete and total silence. The mister went over to one of our friends houses tonight, so I'm home alone getting caught up on sending and packaging orders, reading a bit, writing posts and once I'm done here will be starting on a special project for a friend. I like quiet nights, just me and the girls. Sometimes we watch "girl tv" - ie Brothers and Sisters - my new guilty pleasure now that I have finished watching Greys Anatomy.

Looking forward to: Saturday. Guys it's finally here! The Farmer's Market opens this Saturday!!! I'm so excited and a bit nervous. I feel like I have a million things left to do but not really sure where to begin. So we'll see! This past weekend when we drove out to the last of the Winter indoor market, we stopped in the park to check out my spot. It is awesome!! Prime location. I couldn't be happier where it is. The only thing that would have made me happier is if we were across from our friends Kelly and Adam so that we could hang out during the day, but it's ok. I'm really happy with where we were placed. 

Watching: We have been watching Hemlock Grove. Anyone else watching it on Netflix? I'm really liking it so far. I think we are roughly half way through. We are trying to spread out the episodes and not watch too many in a row. We also started watching Fringe. I had never seen it, or even heard of it when we still had tv/cable. It's with Joshua Jackson, pretty decent show, reminds me a lot of X-Files with a twist. That JJ Abrams guy must be a gazillionaire.

Making me happy: The news I will be sharing about The Hive. The thought of spring finally being here and being able to crochet outside while the mister grills our dinner. Working in the garden, watching things starting to grow. And of course, the thoughts of this weekend. Have I said how excited, yet somewhat terrified I am?! Okay. I promise to stop saying "this weekend" or "saturday" again in this post! haha

What are you currently up to? If you post a "currently" on your blog, please link me to it so I can read it.

Again so sorry about the long absence, hope nobody bailed on me because of it! I'm back and have lots of awesome things to be sharing over the next few months now with garden weather being here, so stick around.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 57

This week we are in Chicago with a guy after my own heart for collecting vinyl toys..

Name: Mr. Walters
Age: 40
Occupation: I’m a full-time artist. I exhibit work, do the odd bit of illustration and graphic design, and I produce my own line or artistic novelties under the Nerfect brand, which I sell at shows, through stores around the Chicago area, my own website, and on Etsy.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I’ve been creating since I could hold a pencil, but in terms of craft items, I used to hang out with my mother when she sold her homemade dolls at shows, and sometimes I would make my own things and sell them off a corner of the table. I guess I was around ten or so.

On and off since then I would participate in things like comic and ‘zine shows, but the Nerfect line, which I support myself with and continue with to this day, I believe I was at my first show with it in 2007.

That was the same year I opened the Etsy shop.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
There is an old folksy saying, a Spoonerism if you will, “Pobody’s Nerfect.” You’ll see it from time to time on items at flea markets and people’s basement rec rooms. For example, there will be a plaster plaque with three owls on a branch, but one is hanging upside down, and then right above it would be, “Pobody’s Nerfect” and then you would roll your eyes.

Anyway, I’ve always been a big fan of that sort of thing, and as there is something always a tad off about what I do, or the occasional technical error, I started to refer to my own work as having a certain, nerfect quality. When it can time to name my empire, there was no other choice in names, really.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Not really. I get a nice steady amount of orders, which is a good thing, but there could be a lot more. Personally, I’d like to keep it as a part of my business model, but not as the sole outlet for my wares. I still like getting out and selling things to folks who are excited by them, be this at a craft show, rock festival, comic convention, or through my friends in retail who carry my wares.

How would you describe your creative process?
I naturally do a lot of doodling. I carry a Field Notes book from Coudal Partners with me everywhere, and as something hits me or if I see something I like, I sketch it down. I’m also a big fan of using the camera on my phone as a sort of visual note taker.

I’ve also been doing a series of daily drawings since 2005. Some are inspired by my “notes” from the day. You can see this year’s 4x6x365/13 drawings here:


Anyway, sometimes I dig something that I’ve put down so much that I more forward with the image and idea. This might mean redrawing and revising the concept, but no matter what, everything ends up in the computer where I digitally recreate the image again and make it something that is going to be great for the production process.

In the end, I think I’ve always nurtured and tried to improve upon these initial ideas. If an image strikes me as something I should explore, odds are someone else will love it when it becomes a stuffed doll or t-shirt design.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I enjoy a wide range of things and try to keep my eyes open as I move around the world. Sometimes these things mix together and grow into new ideas. Luckily I’m here to take it from there.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
Right now, I can only really afford to do shows in the Chicago area, but would like to take the show on the road now and again. I do the big craft shows here in Chicago, like Renegade, the DIY Trunk Show and the One of A Kind Show. I also like to keep a pretty steady stream of bookings during show season, so that means I do the fair amount of street and music festivals. Unless something screwy happens, I should be at the Coterie show at the Pitchfork Music Festival, and Riot Fest this year. I’m also heading back to the comic conventions; the first big one coming up is C2E2.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
Usually once the shows are running, it doesn’t take me that long to prepare for shows. After each show, I take a stock, and if financially possible, I go to work restocking my line. Constantly keeping an eye on the stock and being mindful of your future obligations is a good frame of mind to be in.

I’ve also been doing shows for a while. I kind of know what works and what doesn’t for each type of show. I’ve also been able to build and streamline my displays pretty easily, and I always try to improve on them.

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work
I’m always happy to have people be completely thrilled and excited when then come across my work at a show, and especially kids. The more they flip out, the better. It makes all the late nights and lugging worth it. 

What is your most cherished handmade item?
My grandfather made a living as a carpenter and furniture maker. He is a big inspiration in my life and how I want to make the work I enjoy and make it something I can support myself with.

My brother recently sent me the hand painted sign from his shop which is pretty nice, but his personalized "Sure-Kill" Mosquito Eliminator is probably one of the most charming things I still have from him. You can see it here:


Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I like traveling, having a meal with friends, looking around the local thrift store, listening to music, exploring a new neighborhood, watching b-movies and old television, and hanging around with my wife and our three pugs and one water turtle.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
That’s like asking me if I weren’t a human, or in a semi-solid state. I can’t really imagine what misery that would be. I rejoice in the idea that all I need to entertain myself is a tool to draw with and a surface to make marks on. 

Five years from now you will be…
Hopefully, still using my work to support myself and household, but with a bit more financial security. I’d like to have it somewhat more figured out by then.

I’d also like to be in a position to travel for my business and maybe just for a vacation now and again.

Describe yourself in five words:
Gentleman artist and amusing biped

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Besides the pile of old country albums I’ve been picking up at thrift stores lately, I guess here are five things I’ve been listening to while I’m working on the computer:

1. MJ is a Rocker… A recent find via ska DJ Wren, The Drastics perform Jackson’s songs in a rocksteady style and incorporate Michael’s vocals.

2. Early Dexy’s Midnight Runners when they were in their New Soul Rebels phase. If you’ve only heard “Come on Eileen”, you’re missing out.

3. Otis Redding… Doesn’t get much better than that.

4. Blondie. Not quite sure why, but I’ve been in the mood for Blondie lately.

5. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to Danger: Diabolik. Great, weird, fun movie and the soundtrack really makes it.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
If possible, help a friend out at a couple shows. You can 100% love the process and what you make, but sitting through three days of a street festival might not be your cup of tea, but helping someone out you might be able to understand how you might make the best of it.

You should also go to as many of the larger shows as possible to see what people are making, how well they are doing and how they’re displaying their work. Most vendors welcome the chance to talk to anyone for a while, especially if there is a lull in foot traffic.

Also, I know this sounds lousy, but get some business training. I went to one of the better art schools in the country, and the biggest disservice it did for its students was not making some sort of basic business class part of the required classes. So much of what you’ll be doing after graduation requires business knowledge from having a design job, working with a gallery to exhibit work, or producing items to sell at craft shows.

Friday, April 26, 2013

fff vol 63

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I'm not sure if I am in love with this little guy or completely creeped out by him! He is oddly fascinating to me.

Please can I move in?

This is the coolest thing!You can rent glass igloos in Finland to see the Northern Lights! Something I would definitely love to do before I die.

Get in my belly!

Apple bars...yum!! My mom makes "apple square" they are soooo yummy. I'm craving some bad food. I've been good (well and also sick) so I haven't baked in a while and we haven't had any sweets in the house. I may have to bake something up this weekend because I'm going through "sweets withdrawal"!!

Tee shirt of the week:

I have a feeling Zen Threads is going to be getting a bit of my money very soon!

I want to apologize, again, to you all out there. I have been MIA yet again all this week as I still have this darn plague. This week I am a bit better, and was working each day, but basically by the end of my 8 hour shift  I just wanted to crash (and still do). My head pounds, I have dizzy spells, still can't hear out of one ear and and still all stuffy - uck! 

There is no work OT scheduled for this weekend, so I'm hoping to just get some rest and take it easy and hopefully by next week will be 100%. 

I have lots of thoughts brewing in my head and a few business related things I want to share with  you all. Plus just a life update. I haven't done one of those in a while. Just give me a few more days to get my brain (hopefully) back to 100% full functioning mode and I'll be back on my normal posting schedule, and back to responding to emails. If you have emailed me please, I'm not ignoring you - I just don't want my head to explode trying to write and stare at a computer screen longer than I need to. Please stick with me guys!

Next weekend kicks off the Farmer's Market that I will have a space at as well! So all of that will be pretty darn exciting.

Alright - off to go lay down again in hopes to beat this stupid plague. Have a good weekend all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

wiw vol 17 - Gasland

2010 - NR - 1 hour 42 minutes
Streaming Netflix


It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas." Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground-a hydraulic drilling process called "fracking"-and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

Last fall is when I first starting seeing "No Fracking" signs all around my town and in neighboring towns. I had no idea what it was. The mister explained it to me and it sounded terrible. But it wasn't until I saw this documentary that I saw exactly how horrible and how much devastation fracking causes. 
The extremely scary thing is that I live in an area where they want to do this. This could potentially affect me personally, up close and personal. They are trying to ban it, and some local neighboring counties have been successful but it still worries me. Worries me that these people think that there is nothing wrong with fracking. That it is somehow all in our heads that it is bad or has any negatives. 
Again, just like most things that are causing harm to our environment, it boils down to how much money is pouring into someones pocket. Which is truly sad.
I went here to send a letter to the Governor of NY urging him to stay away from fracking in our state. Only time will tell. Do you live in an area where fracking exists? Have you seen first hand accounts of what this can do to communities? If you do, please share - and share if you are involved in trying to get them to stop in your community.
If you aren't aware of what fracking is, and its dangers please watch this documentary. It's another eye opener in the realities of how humans are killing our planet and resources. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day. I love that there is an "Earth Day", even though I believe everyday is Earth day. I remember growing up in grade school and planting a tree each Earth day. This year I have a goal a little larger than planting one tree, and would like your help. I would like to donate to the canopy project.

"The Canopy Project plants trees that help communities - especially the world's impoverished communities - sustain themselves and their local economies. Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change. That's why, earlier this the year, Earth Day Network made a commitment with the Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next five years in impoverished areas of the world.
Our campaign to defend critical forests has just begun and your support is key to our success. Today, for every $1 you donate, we will plant trees where they are most needed - in areas such as Haiti, Uganda, Brazil, Mexico and urban areas in the U.S. "
So today through the end of the month, each sale made at The Hive I will donate $1 for every $10 in sales. My goal is to be able to donate $100, or 100 trees.
Have you been eyeing something special? Use Canopy10 to get 10% off orders over $10. 
What do you have to loose?! You get awesome organic goodness, 10% off AND you will also be helping plant trees all over the world! What do you say? 
Please spread the word and help me accomplish this lofty goal.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 56

This week we are going out west to California..

Name: Sara Duarte
Etsy Shop:Spun On Cotton

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a playful, crafty, Earthy mama that also likes to call herself an artist. I grew up in Northern California, running barefoot with my two brothers. My father is a jeweler and my mother an antique enthusiast... both worked from home. After graduating high school I went on to study fashion at FIDM. After raking up student loans, I decided that even though I love clothes... the fashion industry isn't for me. A few years later I was feeling the need get my hands busy and looked up on youtube the technique for creating spun cotton. I had always loved the antique German ornaments and was curious how they were made. After a brief video, I took what I had learned and got busy. I have further developed my technique since then, and my style is surely different then the original inspiration. I have formed a love for this art form and my hope is that my pieces are a reflection of this love, and that each character fills their viewer with joy (or at least makes them smile.)

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I've been creating all my life, I remember as a child having the craving to create. I've been working with spun cotton since Dec 2011 and started listing my items right away.

The original name I came up with for my shop was silkandthistle, but after I really began creating I realized the name didn't quite portray the quirky feel of work. I later changed it to Spun On Cotton as a play on words... because I'm "spun" on working in this medium called spun cotton.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

I'm the mother of a two year old and consider that my full time job. However, I spend any extra time I have creating. I stay up most nights till 2am spinning away. I love my work and I only see its potential to continue growing.

How would you describe your creative process?

I always start with a spark of inspiration or a desire to create a particular creature, however I rarely know its personality till later. I then twist a wire armature for the critters skeleton.
Next comes the spinning of the cotton, which is done with nothing more than my hands. I paint the figure once I have gotten the shape and size I'm looking for. My favorite part is giving the figure personality through expression and its very own accessories. No character is complete without a name and story.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I find I'm most inspired after reading my daughter her bed time story. The whimsical imagery from children's stories always brings me fresh ideas. Vintage charm is also a great place to look when I need a spark. When I need to recharge I spend time in nature or barefoot in my garden.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?

I have not participated in a craft show as of now... but I've been accepted into the Spring Unique LA show May 11 and 12! I may be pushing my late nighters even later to get prepared for this one!

What is your most cherished handmade item?
A bracelet my 2 year old daughter made for me for my last birthday.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love to play and dance, sit in nature, or work in the garden. I can never get enough thrift-storeing or yard-saleing... I love finding treasures.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
I can't really imagine not being an artist of some kind. But I have always dreamed of traveling the world to help people in need. It would be quite gratifying to fulfill that desire for adventure and make a true difference in this world. 


Five years from now you will be…
Having more fun then ever... working with my art, playing, watching my daughter grow and have my first children's story released.

Describe yourself in five words:

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Thievery Corporation
Bob Marley
Talking Heads
Cat Stevens
Paul Simon

Friday, April 19, 2013

fff vol 62

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

"Carro, a fat carrot who always stomachache" 

How can you not love this?! It made my day when I saw it. I think it was especially funny because I get tummy aches an awful lot and was picturing myself in the fat carrot suit.

Please can I move in?

I love these stairs and the pop of color. I'm sure most of you know my taste and how I LOVE white rooms. So seeing this really inspired me. It may be an idea I take away and do when we refinish our hallway in the fall. Of course the cute little puppy sitting on the stairs also helped in my decision. 

Get in my belly!

One word. Yum!

Tee shirt  Watch of the week:

How awesome is this watch?! I used to be a die-hard watch wearer. I think I go in spurts when it comes to wearing jewelry and watches. I either need to have one on everyday or nothing. I basically just have my plugs (and my tragus and septum jewelry) in and my wedding rings. But after seeing this watch...I want to start wearing a watch again. 

So I wanted to address the silence here on the blog for the past week, and me not being around any of your all blogs to put my witty remarks. That is because I came down with the plague last Saturday. Yes, full out death plague.

I had so many aspirations to get done last weekend. None got done. Nothing got done other than me lying half dead in my own germiness. I'll spare you details. But it involved ear aches, headaches, swollen glands, sore throats, loss of voice, noise running like a faucet. For 3 days my teeth even hurt! MY TEETH! It was rotten/miserable. ie. The Plague. I'm started to feel a little bit better Wednesday, yesterday just a smidge more, and hopefully by this weekend will actually be able to enjoy a few days of non plague-like symptoms. Ugh miserable times. Hope none of you all have had this rottenness that is going around. 

I'm not going to give a list of things I want to do this weekend because I don't want to jinx myself and then wind up in bed again! So I'll just say this, hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Did anyone take Shawn up on his free coffee?!! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

wiw vol 16 Children Underground

2001 - NR- 104 minutes
Streaming Netflix - Documentaries


This documentary explores the tragic policy by Romanian dictator Nicolei Ceaucescu to outlaw the use of contraceptives and encourage his impoverished populace to have more children. Thousands of children were born to broken or dysfunctional families in a nation mired in political and economic instability, resulting in a large and rapidly growing population of homeless children in the city of Bucharest.

I think the majority of this movie my hand was covering my mouth and I was just simply in shock. These small children all living in the streets and it seems as though no one is doing anything about it. It's insanity and heartbreaking. I really don't have words to express the feelings you take away after watching this movie.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 55

This week marks my one year anniversary of publishing behind the scenes interviews with fabulous Etsy sellers. It has been an extreme pleasure having each and every one of them and I hope to be doing this for many years to come. I love showcasing sellers that you may not have seen or known about, allowing them a larger audience to share a little piece of their process, and hopefully creating some sales and friendships along the way. Here's to one year down, and many more to come! And Shawn has an EXTRA special, super awesome gift in store for all you readers out there - so check out his interview, check out his shop and have a fabulous Sunday!  -xx, trisha

Name: Shawn Anderson
Age: 39
Occupation: Coffee Roaster
Etsy Shop: Old Town Roasting

Tell us a little about yourself.
I run the Roastery for Martin Diedrich (of Diedrich Coffee fame) for his new company, Kean Coffee. I also own Old Town Roasting, with my beautiful wife Darcy. We believe in giving back to our community, both locally and globally, which is why we donate 20% of our profits to charity, funding micro-loans through kiva.org as well as weekly donations of coffee to our local soup kitchen

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I’ve been roasting coffee for 4 years now and I’ve been selling my freshly roasted coffee on Etsy for just over 2 years

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I call my company Old Town Roasting because we’re located in Old Town Tustin (in Southern California). I also live in an old home, built in 1920 and I’ve always been interested in vintage things.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Though I’m lucky enough to be a coffee roaster full time, my Etsy site alone doesn’t support me, which I’m actually fine with. My company has its own website (oldtownroasting.com), which remains rather busy as well. The fact that I have another job (roasting for someone else) makes it easier to give away 20% of our profits.

How would you describe your creative process?
Between my “day job” and Old Town Roasting, I roast around 500-700 pounds of coffee a day, five days a week. I am constantly tasting new coffees (both good and bad) and trying new coffee blends. If I had to define my process, I guess I would say it’s to roast and sample coffees as often as possible and to experiment with coffee blends on a weekly basis. I simply immerse myself in every aspect of my craft.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by other coffee roasters, independent coffee shops and the never-ending support of my wife.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
Though I’m a fan of craft shows, I’m afraid my schedule doesn’t give me time to sell at them

What is your most cherished handmade item?
I love every single-origin coffee and blend that I offer. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t offer them. Having said that, my most cherished coffee blend is my Love & Hope blend which I crafted for my wedding last year. I don’t offer this blend on Etsy or my site. However, I do roast it for my monthly subscribers (at oldtownroasting.com) on special occasions, such as Valentines Day.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
When I’m not roasting coffee, I love to spend time with my wife, family and friends. I also love to read, play music (I play about 9 instruments) and garden. I probably play more video games than I should, too.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
If I weren’t a coffee roaster, I would be doing something to help people. I’d say teaching, but I’m too heavily tattooed. But starting my company, before I even had a name for it, I knew that I would be using a good portion of my profits to help others. THAT is the key motivation for Old Town Roasting

Five years from now you will be…
Still roasting coffee, still happily married. Hopefully I’ll be a new father and be at a place where I can do more for my local and global community.

Describe yourself in five words:
Compassionate, Honest, Shy, Loyal and Beardy (I’m known for having a pretty serious beard)

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
If you looked at my iPod today, you’d find:
Beethoven, Jay Z, Radiohead, White Buffalo and The White Stripes

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
My advice to anyone wanting to open their own shop is this: If you believe in what you’re doing, make it happen! There is nothing more satisfying than making a living doing what you love. Work hard and stay humble. Know that it’s not always going to be easy, but it will always be worth it. If you work hard and honestly and take pride in what you do, you WILL be a success. Most importantly…with every success, you should do something to help someone else. I would be nowhere without the help and guidance of others. 

And Shawn's special gift to all of you coffee drinkers out there; place an order through his Etsy Shop, mention my blog and this interview and he will send you a FREE Pound of his Hope & Love blend! 

I don't know about you but my order is being placed this week!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

fff vol 61

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I don't actually usually use a bag/purse. I throw my wallet in my pocket and am on my way. But this bag is really gorgeous. The craftsmanship is amazing. I'm always in awe at fabulous sewing skills. While I have a nice machine and can sew, I don't really have the patience for it. I never took the time to really get good at it. So when I see amazing handmade items like this, I'm in awe and jealous of their skills. This shop actually has shoes too. Their entire Etsy shop is fabulous.

Please can I move in?

I am craving spring to hurry up and get here. Next week it is finally supposed to be "spring weather". I want to get working on our gardens and back yard makeovers. This backyard is stunning. If this were my backyard, I don't know if I would ever leave it!

Get in my belly!

I've been so busy lately that I havent really found the time to bake. (which is probably a good thing for my waistline!) But these look so yummy..and they have fruit..so that doesn't count as bad-for-me food right?!

Tee shirt of the week:

I am completely smitten with this tee shirt. It looks so soft and cozy. And I always love aged looking shirts. This is definitely on my "buy list". They have soooo many great shirts. I need to watch my wallet when I order!

I have a feeling this weekend is going to be a whirlwind. Farmers market, working some extra hours for my day job, making soaps and creating new products for the shop, working on our gardens (weather permitting), finishing touches to The Hive now being on Facebook - check me out here the list keeps growing.

What are you all up to this weekend? Is it finally showing signs of spring where you are? Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

wiw vol 15 Kumare

2011 - NR - 84 minutes
Streaming Netflix - Documentaries


A documentary about a man who impersonates a wise Indian Guru and builds a following in Arizona. At the height of his popularity, the Guru Kumaré must reveal his true identity to his disciples and unveil his greatest teaching of all.

I really enjoyed this movie. Being that I'm not religious it made me understand what he was trying to do and his message he was trying to get out. I think that religious people could possibly look at it the wrong way, and possibly even be upset by what he does. 
I actually thought it was going to be a lot different than it was. I went into it thinking he was making fun of religion and that it was going to be just a silly documentary that wasn't going to really have an impact. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. 
His message is that you don't need these false prophets (these people that take your money and and tell you what to think and how to feel.) Your spirituality is within you. It's amazing what the power of suggestion can do and how strong of an impact it can make on someone. A definite must watch.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

support the little guy

Supporting local and/or small businesses is my moto. My husband and I feed ourselves by supporting our local farms through our Farmer's Markets, feed our dogs by supporting our locally owned pet shop, shop via handmade outlets (Etsy, local markets, antique shops, mom and pop shops) and dine out at independently owned restaurants, who also support our local economy. 

I see change on the horizon. So many more people are living their lives the way we do and it makes me feel awesome to know, that not everyone wants "the cheapest" and runs to their huge big-box store. Many people and saying no to that lifestyle and saying, Let's support the little guy.

So I'm asking for your help. I need your votes. You can vote one time each day from now until May 12th. They are going to pick the top 15, and award them with $5,000 to help toward their business goals. $5,000 could bring a lot of change to this business and bring it to the next level. I'd love your help in trying to get there.

Support the little guy!

Monday, April 08, 2013

and the winner is.....


Thank you to everyone that entered and be sure to now start following The Hive over at our new home. Over there I will post my giveaways and discounts.

Congrats again, Amanda! (Check your email, I sent you info needed this am)

Sunday, April 07, 2013

In need of some advice..

I'm in a bit of a pickle. I had this big idea in my head that I wanted to offer smaller sized bars of soap - for samplers and then also travel/guest sizes.

I've already made sampler sized bars - I have a special mold for them. I made all my clay bars using these molds. But I'm not 100% happy with how the bars turn out. They don't come out completely even. So I then thought, what if I use my regular sized molds but cut the soaps differently.

The adventure/ guest sized bars would be the same height/width of my current bars, but they would be thinner. Current bars are 7/8" these would be 1/2" - so they would be just a touch more than half the size - My normal bars are roughly 4 - 4.2 ounces, these are turning out to be roughly 2.4-2.5 ounces.

Others are selling "guest bars" - with theirs usually being 1.6-2.0 ounces and selling them for $4 a piece. (Mine would be larger, and cheaper or the same price)

(adventure/travel/guest bars)

As for samplers - I wanted to do a small sized, they wouldn't be sold individually - they would be sold in groups ( 5, 10, 12 something to that effect) So that you an really get a sample of my soaps.

This would also be the size that I would like to offer for weddings/ showers/ events etc - in which I would sell them in groups of like 50 - 100 - 125+ etc (these would be a little more expensive because I would also offer custom packaging and would be made to order)


So I'm asking your input. What do you think? Its a massive undertaking (and really costly) to make new products if they are just not going to go over well.

I already cut up one entire "loaf" of soap and wrecked it because the size wasn't coming out right, so I basically lost out on $80 of product screwing around with the sizes.  I've had lots of stress today trying to get the bars to be the right size, I hate my soap cutter! So before I cut up any more I need some advice for you all as to what you are looking for and what you would actually purchase.

Please fill out the form below and let me know your thoughts. (The sooner the better please!) I have 4 more loafs that I need to cut asap =)